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Monday, May 1

  1. page home edited ... LEARNING THEORY EVOLVES - initially created by Bill Kerr (blog, website) DIRECT INSTRUCTION…
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    LEARNING THEORY EVOLVES
    - initially created by Bill Kerr (blog, website)
    DIRECT INSTRUCTION AND INDIGENOUS EDUCATION: FROM THE INSIDE OUT (Bill Kerr April, 2017)
    From the inside out because neither the advocates or critics of Direct Instruction follow Hegel's advice:
    "The genuine refutation must penetrate the opponent's stronghold and meet him on his own ground; no advantage is gained by attacking him somewhere else and defeating him where he is not"

    Direct Instruction - Indigenous Memes (December 2013 - Bill)
    CONTEXT: appalling basic literacy and numeracy rates amongst indigenous Australians, especially those who live in remote regions.
    (view changes)
    12:25 am
  2. page research outline edited RESEARCH PROPOSAL (version 5) DIRECT INSTRUCTION AND INDIGENOUS EDUCATION: FROM THE INSIDE OUT B…
    RESEARCH PROPOSAL (version 5)
    DIRECT INSTRUCTION AND INDIGENOUS EDUCATION: FROM THE INSIDE OUT
    Bill Kerr April, 2017
    From the inside out because neither the advocates or critics of Direct Instruction follow Hegel's advice:
    "The genuine refutation must penetrate the opponent's stronghold and meet him on his own ground; no advantage is gained by attacking him somewhere else and defeating him where he is not"
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/hlnotion.htm
    Preamble: Aurukun violence 2016
    CONTENTS
    1) BEGINNINGS
    1.1) Context: Appalling basic literacy and numeracy rates amongst indigenous Australians, especially those who live in remote regions
    1.2) World view: Our perceptions of the world are caught in the web of our internal beliefs, values and conceptualisations
    1.3) Hypothesis: Many can't see the value of DI because of the synergistic influence of a plethora of mind memes which act as blinkers and filters to influence their perception
    1.4) Visceral Hatred From The Right And The Left: Fanaticism is on display from both sides of politics in this culture war
    1.5) Meme Warfare: Memes Working Against And For Direct Instruction In An Indigenous Context
    The memes (opposing and supporting Direct Instruction) are grouped under various subheadings: (1) Culture, (2) Beliefs and Social Values (3) Social Class, (4) Learning, Including Creativity, (5) Epistemic Values, (6) Politics (7) Computer Lib
    2) DIRECT INSTRUCTION
    2.1) Description of DI
    The Direct Instruction (DI) approach is a good attempt to solve a number of practical problems that arise for teachers of severely disadvantaged students who have poor skills at reading, writing and comprehending English and Maths.
    2.2) Why DI Works
    evidence-based is powerful but compelling reasons are needed as well to convince humans
    2.3) The Evidence
    The evidence is strong. But what needs clarification is what precisely does DI achieve and what does it not achieve?
    2.4) Why DI Is Reviled By Some
    Kerry Hempenstall document 20 reasons why DI evokes rancour.
    3) CULTURE
    3.1 Is Indigenous Culture Superior To Western Culture?
    Indigenous culture has a better record with regard to the environmental crisis that is perceived to be the central political issue for modern society
    3.2 Indigenous Culture As A Priority
    one side of the argument argues that indigenous culture is an absolute priority and must come first
    3.2.1) Lewthaite Interviews
    3.2.2) Richard Trudgen: Why Warriors Lie Down and Die
    3.2.3) Ghil'ad Zuckerman: Linguicide
    3.2.4) Identity / Alienation
    3.3 Indigenous Culture As Important But Not A Priority
    3.3.1) Warrior culture or equality culture?
    3.3.2) Indigenous culture has a significant downside.
    3.3.3) Oral culture
    3.4 Actual Attempts To Implement Cultural Based School Curriculums
    3.4.1) Chris Sarra's Stronger Smarter Institute
    3.4.2) Tyson Yunkaporta's 8 ways
    3.4.3) Barry Osborne's Culturally Responsive and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
    3.5) Cultural Transformation Is A More Important Issue Than A Static Culture
    3.5.1) Noel Pearson. Any real culture is layers of varying cultures
    3.5.2) Michelle Moody-Adams / Amartya Sen. Cultural differences tend to be exaggerated
    3.6) Inequality Is More Important Than Diversity
    3.6.1 Diversity issues (race, culture, minority rights) act as a diversion from the main issue of capitalism
    3.6.2 The economic base is the fundamental determinant of culture
    3.7) Cultural Relativism and the Left
    Furedi: How the left became conservative
    4 BELIEFS and SOCIAL VALUES
    Incorporates racism, rights, morality, compassion, justice, prejudice, shame, paying attention. Social values are distinguished from epistemic values – later
    4.1) Moral image of the world
    A moral image of the world is central and does translate into teachers determination to deliver, if they have that moral image.
    4.2) Closing the Gap or changing the gap?
    No one argues about the health gap but some are unsure about the educational gap.
    4.2.1) The desire to be normal (The national curriculum as lodestone)
    4.3) Rights and Responsibilities
    The responsibility agenda rather than the rights agenda is the more pressing requirement in the current context of indigenous progress (Noel Pearson)
    4.4) Compassion: How tough is tough love?
    4.5) Capabilities approach
    Sen / Nussbaum Capabilities approach: What is it that a person can do?
    4.6) Racism: overt and covert
    Bill Leak cartoon – racist or identification of a real problem
    5) SOCIAL CLASS
    5.1 Trump cards
    The fault lies with the system! Or The fault lies with the responsible individuals!
    5.2 No child left behind (NCLB)
    Arguments for and against
    5.3 Interaction skills and No Excuses Schools (Golann)
    No Excuses schools can improve academic results and yet reduce life chances through stifling interaction skills
    5.4 Early intervention has the best results (Heckman)
    If society intervenes early enough, it can improve cognitive and socioemotional abilities and the health of disadvantaged children
    5.5 Poverty
    Student achievement will not be advanced unless poverty and disadvantage are first eliminated, or, Student outcomes are more determined by educational factors than social factors
    5.6 School Attendance
    5.7 Jobs
    5.8 Social class, Hattie and DI
    social class is more important than what teachers do. Hattie then proceeds to put social class into the too hard basket and focuses on what teachers can do
    6) LEARNING, INCLUDING CREATIVITY
    Measurement is not straight forward because we have to decide what is important to measure. For one thing, this relates back to close the gap versus change the gap considerations. But even without that we will see that what to measure is a very complex question indeed. Furthermore, some things are easy to measure (think thin descriptors like NAPLAN testing), other things are harder to measure (think thick descriptors like intensive longitudinal studies) and some things don't get measured at all … (eg. the unknown unknowns). Researchers also draw conclusions, summing up their research, so some of that belongs here too.
    6.1) Measurement: easy to measure / hard to measure
    Respecting individuals in all their diversity is more important than measurement, or, Measurement is more important than sentiment.
    6.2) Self-efficacy
    Self-efficacy, how a person feels about their ability to accomplish in a given field
    6.3) Learning styles
    debunked by Dan Willingham
    6.4) Reading Wars
    For and against phonics
    6.5) Maths wars
    6.5.1) JUMP fractions
    6.5.2) YuMi Deadly Maths
    6.5.3) Liping Ma
    6.5.4 Ethnomaths: Alan Bishop
    6.5.5) What is maths? Lockies Lament.
    6.6) Creativity
    Rhonda Farkota: When it came to the employment and cultivation of higher order skills where reasoning and reflection were required it was clear that a student-directed approach to learning was better suited. But when it came to the acquisition of basic skills the empirical evidence unequivocally showed that a teacher-directed approach was best suited
    6.7) Brain science
    6.8) Unintended Consequences Of Full Immersion Di: Teacher Quality?
    Good teachers may like to have more control over their lesson structure than is allowed through the NIFDI version of DI
    6.9) John Hattie's Eight Mind Frames
    6.10 Let a hundred flowers be evaluated. But how?
    The higher goal of education is to learn how to think and argue better about complex questions of all types - philosophical, scientific, political, ethical, personal, the meaning of life, etc. The only way to achieve this is to have teachers who model this thinking themselves!
    7 EPISTEMOLOGY: EPISTEMIC VALUES / PREJUDICES
    Advocates like to claim that “science is on our side” but we also need to go through a process of understanding what science really is and the strengths and limitations of science
    7.1 Swear words again
    7.2 Naturalism
    7.2.1 For Naturalism
    Rousseau: Progress is freedom because humans are naturally good. Whatever is natural is good
    7.2.2 Against Naturalism
    Anthropological findings show that there is no easy or natural path to certain types of knowledge, including reading and writing
    7.3 Constructivism / Constructionism (Papert, includes Piaget)
    “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled” Plutarch 45AD-120AD
    7.4) Friere
    Difference of opinion between Noel Pearson and Allan Luke
    7.5) Vygotsky
    7.6) Bruner
    7.7 Cognitivism and decomposing knowledge
    7.8) Causation / Probabilistic explanations
    7.9 Behaviourism
    7.10 Logical Empiricism
    7.11 Ambiguity Is Written Deeply Into Knowledge Structures
    What Zig Engelmann does is take the good idea that instruction should be tidied up and made clear too far into the claim that in general instruction can be made unambiguous
    7.12 Pragmatism, includes Dewey
    7.13) Dialectics
    8 POLITICS
    Missionaries, misfits and mercenaries: do they dominate the scene? Is closing the gap a wicked problem? The nature of wicked problems. To succeed in the white man's world will lead to being ostracised within one's own culture. Is Noel Pearson a good man or a bad man?
    8.1) Rebellion
    8.2) Money
    8.3) The political left has lost its way
    8.4) Welfare poison
    8.5) Noel Pearson and the jigsaw metaphor
    Noel has figured out some parts of a complex jigsaw but not all the parts
    8.6) Noel and Me
    9) 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION AKA COMPUTER LIB
    You hear quite a lot of talk amongst “progressives” that the new computer medium makes the old ways of educating obsolete
    9.1) 21st Century Skills, web 2.0
    9.2) The case against
    10) WHERE IS THE ARGUMENT HEADING?
    10.1) Has everyone failed?
    The fractured lives of indigenous people
    10.2) Motivations
    10.3) Indigenous jigsaw
    10.3.1) What sort of leader can turn around a failing school?
    Architects are the only leaders with any real long-term impact, as they quietly redesign the school and transform the community it serves
    10.4) The place of DI in the jigsaw
    10.5) Is Radical Epistemological Self Transformation Possible?
    Does evidence determine outlook or does outlook determine what evidence one is prepared to look at?
    10.6) What is science?
    When people argue that science or evidence supports their viewpoint what does this mean? This requires not only looking at the evidence but also looking at the model of science that is being evoked here

    (view changes)
    12:11 am

Saturday, March 11

  1. page learning theories edited ... What might cognition be if not computation? Answer: the Watt Governor James Gee (semiotic dom…
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    What might cognition be if not computation? Answer: the Watt Governor
    James Gee (semiotic domains, game related learning theory)
    Dan Willingham "learning styles don't exist, the important thing is meaning"
    Dan Willingham book: Why Don't Students Like School?

    INSTRUCTIONISM: educational outcomes can be identified: fact recall, skills and attitudes. Education can be optimised to achieve measurable changes in these desired outcomes
    behaviourism
    ...
    Carl Wieman "optimising learning"
    John Hattie - the difference between expert teachers and experienced teachers
    Dan Willingham "learning styles don't exist, the important thing is meaning"
    Dan Willingham book: Why Don't Students Like School?

    Andy diSessa
    (view changes)
    7:11 pm
  2. page learning theories edited ... John Hattie - the difference between expert teachers and experienced teachers Dan Willingham …
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    John Hattie - the difference between expert teachers and experienced teachers
    Dan Willingham "learning styles don't exist, the important thing is meaning"
    Dan Willingham book: Why Don't Students Like School?
    Andy diSessa
    (view changes)
    5:03 pm
  3. page hofstadter edited Douglas Hofstadter Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985) conta…
    Douglas Hofstadter
    Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985)
    contains: 'Waking Up from the Boolean Dream, or, Subcogniton as Computation' (1982)

    Metamagical Themas: Questing For the Essence of Mind and Pattern by Douglas Hofstadter (1985)
    Essay 26: Waking up from the Boolean Dream, or, Subcognition as Computation
    (view changes)
    4:51 pm
  4. page hofstadter edited ... Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985) contains: 'Waking Up …
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    Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985)
    contains: 'Waking Up from the Boolean Dream, or, Subcogniton as Computation' (1982)
    Metamagical Themas: Questing For the Essence of Mind and Pattern by Douglas Hofstadter (1985)
    Essay 26: Waking up from the Boolean Dream, or, Subcognition as Computation

    The central problem for AI is the question: What is the letter 'a'? (p. 633)
    Perception is where it's at!
    ...
    to contrast what is with our way of seeing things
    sideways connections
    contains: 'VariationsEssay 12: Variations on a
    ...
    Crux of Creativity'Creativity (1982)
    Slipping can follow unpredictable path - malapropism, malaphor
    ...
    eg. MetaFont (240)
    variations of letter A on page 243!!!
    ...
    seeing anyway (247)
    each new concept begins life as a compound of previous concepts, and that from the slippability of those concepts, it inherits a certain amount of slippability ...
    ...
    retrieval ...
    where
    (249)
    Arthur Koestler .... Act of Creation .... presents a theory of creativity whose key concept he calls 'bisociation' - the simultaneous activation and interaction of two previously unconnected concepts ... something new can happen when two concepts 'collide' and fuse - something not present in the concepts themselves ... in keeping with Koestler's philosophy that wholes are somehow greater than the sum of their parts ... By contrast, I have been emphasizing the idea of the internal structure of one concept ... the divisibility of concepts into subconceptual elements (250)
    BK: Koestler's holism neglects internal contradictions
    Reader criticism ... making variations (ie. twisting knobs) is easy ... so how can genius be that easy? (251)
    For a genius it is easy to be a genius
    the crux of creativity is not in twiddling knobs, but in spotting them ... where
    do good
    ...
    else ... (251)
    - fresh situations get unconsciously framed in terms of familiar concepts
    - those familiar concepts come equipped with standard knobs to twiddle
    - twiddling those knobs carries you into fresh new conceptual territory
    (254)
    making concept into a legitimate scientific term is the central goal of cognitive science
    you let your memory and perceptual mechanism do all the hard work for you (pulling concepts from dormancy); all you do is twiddle knobs (255)

    The concept of the implicosphere of an idea - the sphere of variations on it resulting from the twiddling of many knobs a "reasonable" amount - is a difficult one ...
    Slippage of thought is a remarkably invisible phenomenon
    (view changes)
    1:14 pm

Saturday, March 4

  1. page Dan Willingham edited ... an intransitive verb doesn't have an object, eg. snored, laughed, work Thinking (from Chapter…
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    an intransitive verb doesn't have an object, eg. snored, laughed, work
    Thinking (from Chapter 1): combining information in new ways. The information can come from long term memory or the environment. So, in today's world, where you can find information quickly on the internet, is there a reason to memorise anything?
    ...
    are separate (22)(22).
    BK: cf Brian Harvey, SNAP manual: Alonzo Church: procedures as data. In SNAP all data is first class. In Scratch numbers and text strings are first class but lists are not. In Scratch you can't put a list into a variable, into an input slot of a block or into a list item. In SNAP you can. I need to explore this concept more. It sounds more powerful but it is not clear to me why it is more powerful.
    Thus if you learn a new thinking operation (for example, how to critically analyse historical documents), that operation should be applicable to all historical documents ... NOT SO ... critical thinking about WW2 does not transfer to thinking about the current situation in the Middle East or the start of the American Revolutionary War. Critical thinking processes are tied to background knowledge - although they become much less so when we become quite experienced, described in Chapter 6
    Knowledge is essential to reading comprehension
    1 it provides vocabulary
    2 it allows you to bridge logical gaps that writers leave
    3 it allows chunking, which increases room in working memory and thereby makes it easier to tie ideas together
    4 it guides the interpretation of ambiguous sentences
    the fourth grade slump - students from underprivileged homes often read to grade level through to third grade but then suddenly in the fourth grade they fall behind (as the emphasis shifts from decoding to comprehension)
    Background knowledge is necessary for cognitive skills
    Factual knowledge improves your memory
    Implications for the classroom
    How to evaluate which knowledge to instill
    Be sure that the knowledge base is mostly in place when you require critical thinking
    Shallow knowledge is better than no knowledge
    Do whatever you can to get kids to read
    Knowledge acquisition can be incidental
    Start early
    Knowledge must be meaningful
    Chapter 3 Memory is the residue to thought
    Your memory is a product of what you think about
    Paying attention 44
    What good teachers have in common

    (view changes)
    2:31 am

Friday, March 3

  1. page Dan Willingham edited ... "very simple model of the mind" (p. 11) Thinking is when you combine knowledge from…
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    "very simple model of the mind" (p. 11)
    Thinking is when you combine knowledge from the environment and long term memory in new ways!
    BK: cf. Hofstadter: the crux of creativity is variations on a theme (1982 article)
    Long term memory contains both procedural knowledge and factual knowledge
    Procedural knowledge is like a recipe to accomplish a particular type of thought. eg. procedure of multiplying 18x7 or to calculate the area of a triangle or to copy a computer file, etc.
    ...
    Change the pace
    Keep a diary
    Chapter 2: Factual Knowledge must precede skill
    Negative Stereotype: Narrow minded schoolmaster demanding that students parrot facts ... as old as Dickens Hard Times (1854)
    Many think that the regurgitation of facts works against the higher order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis or critique
    Truth 1: memorising lists of dry facts is not enriching
    Truth 2: It is impossible to teach skills such as analysis or synthesis in the absence of factual knowledge
    Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge" WRONG!!
    "to think is a transitive verb. You need something to think about"
    BK: cf Papert: "You cannot think about thinking, without thinking about thinking about something" (Society of Mind, p. 22)
    a transitive verb takes a direct object, eg. think about maths, read a pamphlet , played the piano, loves, eats
    an intransitive verb doesn't have an object, eg. snored, laughed, work
    Thinking (from Chapter 1): combining information in new ways. The information can come from long term memory or the environment. So, in today's world, where you can find information quickly on the internet, is there a reason to memorise anything?
    Thinking - Calculator comparison: the data (numbers) and operations (+ - * /) are separate (22)

    (view changes)
    5:54 pm

Sunday, February 26

  1. page Dan Willingham edited ... How Thinking Works (10) {mind.jpg} Procedural "very simple model of the mind" (…
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    How Thinking Works (10)
    {mind.jpg}
    Procedural"very simple model of the mind" (p. 11)
    Thinking is when you combine
    knowledge from the environment and long term memory in new ways!
    Long term memory contains both procedural knowledge and factual knowledge
    Procedural knowledge is like a recipe to accomplish a particular type of thought. eg. procedure of multiplying 18x7 or to calculate the area of a triangle or to copy a computer file, etc.

    Factual knowledge - discussed more in Chapter 2
    "... successful thinking relies on four factors: information from the environment, facts in long term memory, procedures in long term memory, and the amount of space in working memory. If any one of these factors is inadequate, thinking will likely fail" (p. 14)
    Implications for the Classroom
    Be sure that there are problems to be solved: moderate challenges
    ...
    avoid overloading of working memory, eg. multistep instructions, lists of unconnected facts, chains of logic more than 2 or 3 steps long and the application of a just learned concept to new material. Use scaffolding, eg. writing on the board, to assist working memory
    Clarifying the
    ...
    be solved: ask interesting questions
    ...
    can be solvedsolved, organise around questions that provide the answers that we want our audience to learn
    Key question
    How to frame that question
    Right level of difficulty to engage students
    Respect your students cognitive limitations

    Puzzles evoke interest!
    Build on individual ability
    (view changes)
    12:59 am

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